Low Dimensional Topology

November 17, 2008

Let the voting begin

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jesse Johnson @ 1:32 pm

I think enough names have been suggested in the first Name the mathematical object competition that we should move on to the voting.  You can see the previous post for a description of the object that we’re trying to name.  

Vote in the comments by using whatever type of voting you’d like: top choice, approval voting, ranking, etc. by some time friday morning (Eastern standard time).  The only rules are that you can’t vote for your own suggestion and you probably shouldn’t vote more than once.  I’ll tally up the votes some time before lunch on friday and announce the winner.   Here are the contestants, along with some superfluous comments:

1) “Richard Kent IV kernel” (Suggested by Saul Schleimer.  This would keep with the long standing tradition of naming things after mathematicians who didn’t discover them.  Also, the “Johnson kernel” is already taken.)

2) “wrapping class group” (Suggested by John Armstrong.  Very catchy.)

3) “Torelli subgroup” (Suggested by JeffE.  The definition is reminsent of the standard Torelli subgroup, though it may be confusing to have too many Torelli subgroups floating around.)

4) “Phony(H)” (Suggested by Richard Kent. I’m not sure what he’s trying to suggest… )

5) “ambiently trivial subgroup” (Suggested by Henry Wilton.  Accurate but kind of a mouthful.)

6) “Obama’s subgroup” (Suggested by someone named McCain.  Very timely.)

7) “superficially trivial subgroup” (or the “superficially non-trivial subgroup”) (Suggested by Scott Taylor.  Even more syllables than number 5.)

8) “central base subgroup” (Suggested by Matt, based on the motto “So important it’s generic.”)

9) “Isot(H, M)” (Suggested by Saul.  Short and simple, but I’m not quite sure how to pronounce it.)


  1. I’ll go ahead and vote for number 5. Accuracy is a runner-up to catchiness.

    Comment by John Armstrong — November 17, 2008 @ 4:07 pm | Reply

  2. Though I have my right to privacy, I’ll let you know that I vote for 4. (Suggesting that these are mapping classes that pretend to be mapping classes of M, but fail.)

    Comment by Richard Kent — November 17, 2008 @ 5:10 pm | Reply

  3. I’m going for 7. The more syllables the better! Thanks for the vote, John – glad you don’t hold my opinions on insurance-selling lizards against me!

    Comment by Henry Wilton — November 17, 2008 @ 11:39 pm | Reply

  4. Hey — what about Isot(H, M)??? That was also my suggestion. Since you didn’t put it on the list, I’m gonna vote for it.

    Comment by saul schleimer — November 18, 2008 @ 4:04 am | Reply

  5. Oops. I missed that when I was making the list. But I’ve added it now. If anyone wants to change their vote, they can!

    Comment by Jesse Johnson — November 18, 2008 @ 9:21 am | Reply

  6. By the way, it is pronounced “I-sot”.

    Comment by saul schleimer — November 18, 2008 @ 11:21 am | Reply

  7. Wait, now Saul gets to vote for his own suggestion?

    Comment by John Armstrong — November 18, 2008 @ 2:45 pm | Reply

  8. That’s a good point. Sorry, Saul, you’re going to have to vote for something else.

    Comment by Jesse Johnson — November 18, 2008 @ 3:30 pm | Reply

  9. As Richard said — I’ve got rights!

    Comment by saul schleimer — November 19, 2008 @ 10:57 am | Reply

  10. I vote for “Wrapping Class Group”. But in defense of my suggestion– although “superficially (non)-trivial subgroup” does have a lot of syllables, at least you don’t have to say “ambiently”! :)

    Comment by Scott Taylor — November 19, 2008 @ 2:30 pm | Reply

  11. Hey – what’s wrong with “ambiently”!?

    Comment by Henry Wilton — November 19, 2008 @ 3:37 pm | Reply

  12. My vote is for number 5.

    Comment by Andy P. — November 19, 2008 @ 4:22 pm | Reply

  13. “Ambiently” sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. Sorry!

    Comment by Scott Taylor — November 19, 2008 @ 8:25 pm | Reply

  14. When I hear the phrase “wrapping class group”, I think of a slightly more urban version of Schoolhouse Rock. On second thought, that’s pretty badass, but I still think the term is a bit annoying.

    Comment by Andy P. — November 20, 2008 @ 8:21 am | Reply

  15. I’m voting for number 5 *and* 9. After all, you need both a name and a notation. And Isot(H,M) is a short notation more than anything else.

    By the way: this idea of voting for the name of an object has got to catch on! I would love to let y’all rename a couple of awkwardly named objects I’ve been dealing with.

    Comment by Dave Futer — November 21, 2008 @ 8:05 am | Reply

  16. It’s friday morning, so the voting is now officially over.

    Comment by Jesse Johnson — November 21, 2008 @ 9:29 am | Reply

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